After spending tens of millions of dollars over the past three years to monitor and inspect trucks domiciled in Mexico, the Mexican Cross-Border Trucking Program ended recently. Unfortunately, by all significant measures, the program has been a failure.
While the Department of Transportation (DOT) has collected large quantities of data, the vast majority of it is worthless in determining if the border was opened to trucks domiciled in Mexico would safely perform long-haul operations throughout the United States – the original objective of the program.
In short, program does not meet the Congressional requirement of providing statistically reliable data.
“Despite claiming this cross-border program would be thoroughly analyzed to ensure the safety of our driving public, the execution of the program has fallen short on multiple levels,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. “How can we trust the findings of a study with such a small sample size and inspections that only occurred at the border when Mexican carriers knew they would fall under the most scrutiny?”
The program was designed to test the Mexican trucking industry’s ability to operate safely outside of the commercial zones where they are currently permitted to operate. But of the 20,918 crossings made by these Mexico-domiciled trucks, only 1,150 crossings have been to destinations beyond the commercial zone.
In fact, only 13 Mexico-domiciled carriers with a combined 55 trucks and 54 drivers participated in the three-year program. Two carriers have dominated the program accounting for over 91 percent of the crossings and over 82 percent of the inspections. This is not a true representative sample of the Mexican trucking industry.
Of the 5,046 inspections that have been performed during the program, 5,042 were conducted at the border, when carriers knew they would be inspected. Only four inspections occurred beyond the border. More than 4,100 of the inspections were Level III – driver only inspections that focus on the operator’s license, his medical certificate and the daily log.
“Despite this program falling short in every way, these 13 carriers will be permitted to continue operating,” Hoffa said. “I fully expect that the DOT Inspector General and the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee to come to the same conclusion that we have – the Mexican Cross-Border Trucking Program has failed.”
SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters